Octopus Steals Video Camera, Films Own Escape

While Victor Huang was trying out his shiny new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 in Wahine Memorial, Wellington, New Zealand, he attempted to get video of a large wild octopus. The octopus snatched the camera from his hands and swam away with it while still recording — subsequently filming a chase for the camera that lasted several minutes.

“While trying to get video of a wild octopus, it suddenly dashed towards me and rips my shiny new camera from out of my hands, then swims off, all while the camera is recording! he swam away very quickly like a naughty shoplifter. after a 5 minute chase, I placed my speargun underneath him and he quickly and curiously grabbed hold of the gun as well, giving me enough time to reach in and grab the camera from out of his mouth. I didn’t feel threatened at all during the whole ordeal. he seemed to be fixated on the shiny metallic blue digital camera. the only confusing behavior was how he dashed off with it like a thief haha. cheeky octopus.”

The above video is the chase, with the following credits: Music by Vincent Gillioz (Car Chase) and Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones (Octopus I Love You). First unit camera: Victor Huang. First unit director and second unit camera: Cheeky Octopus.

via Metafilter

Behind the Scenes at Mission Street Food Project

We’re excited to see The Quotidian met the Mission Street Food Project; while both are local to San Francisco, each do something on a cultural level that we’d love to see replicated in other major cities — and both are getting national attention. The Quotidian is a San Francisco phenomenon; they are a ongoing online video documentary project “that highlights how everyday people and actions can have a larger effect on the world”. They recently examined another SF phenom, Mission Street Food Project, which scores killer local chefs to bring high-end San Francisco food to the people and creating happening events (and hot date destinations) in the process, all while giving proceeds to charitable organizations. Their next event is this Thursday, April 1st, and all dining events are cash only. Quotidian did a fabulous documentary on MSF (above) explaining,

The success of these nights has also transformed Mission Street Food into a serious charitable business, as more than $17,000 was donated to local charities during the part-time restaurant’s first 10 months of operation. Mission Burger, a lunchtime burger stand that Myint started inside the Duc Loi Supermarket a couple doors down from Mission Street Food, has also generated more than $2,500 in donations during its first three months of operation.

While the idea of donating sales proceeds to charitable causes isn’t necessarily new, what’s impressive about Mission Street Food is that it’s taken place in the dining world, where profit margins are notoriously hard to come by even with the most established restaurants and competition is cutthroat. Mission Street Food has succeeded as a foodie destination and business in spite of (or perhaps because of) its charitable roots, proving that it’s possible to be a successful small local business with a great product while giving back directly to the community in a real, meaningful way.

via Kai Hsing

The American Bookbinders Museum

It’s a very interesting time for books, perhaps the most pivotal in history (though not the most tempestuous), and conversations about the future of books sound a lot like… past conversations about the future of the written word. Those of us who fancy the early days of printing and publishing in San Francisco, or at the very least have an affinity for Deadwood-era ink stories, will be delighted to know that The American Bookbinders Museum, in all its dusty glory, resides here in San Francisco. Reader Shalaco was surprised to discover it himself, writing,

Last Saturday I was biking home along Harrison when I saw a peculiar sandwich board, “Bookbinders Museum open today 12-4″ Having nothing better to do and a natural affinity towards books and the book making process I decided to take some time out of my day to find out about this oddity.

Tim James is a commercial bookbinder who is fascinated by the bookbinder and the bookbinding process. This process has undergone a complete transformation since the mid 1800’s when every step in the process was done by hand and only the rich could afford books.

But the Bookbinders Museum isn’t just about books; it’s about machines. “It is the goal of the American Bookbinders Museum to amass a collection of working machines used for each part of the printing process.” And don’t forget the Bookbinder’s Bowling Club! You can visit, you can tour, or you can help them find equipment for their collection. Tours are free and on Saturday 12-4 — or by request: call Tim James and if he can he will run over from his print shop to give a tour.

The American Bookbinders Museum is at 2736 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Phone: (415) 671-2233 | (415) 710-9369

Animated Gif Art by Jamie Martinez

Animated Witch

The animated gif is an artifact of bygone eras in web design, though many of us gnash our teeth when coming across the pesky relics and kvetch that they should be banned as avatar icons on sites such as Twitter, where the jangly movement almost feels like a nonconsensual affront. Not everyone looks at a gif and thinks that 1998 called and wants its HTML back. Maybe that’s just us. Artist Jamie Martinez sees the gif as a medium that deserves an artist’s exploration (arguing that until now, no artist has had anything to do with animated gifs, at least in public). In his 2009 animated gif series, Martinez takes the gif to a place somewhere between retro photography and old 3-D postcards, with a collection that is contemplative, moody, wistful and strangely provocative.

Social Networking Pillows

After years of resting our weary blogger heads on keyboards and netbooks, with visions of icons dancing through our heads, now we rejoice to see that finally a pillow suitable for the workspace has been created. Also, we can finally take out our frustration at Facebook with a few square punches without actually striking a monitor; we can also literally fling Gmail at someone who needs to get smacked upside the head with our unread thoughts — and no one actually gets hurt. Thank goodness for the Social Networking Pillows by Craftsquatch on Etsy. Now our cats can do what comes naturally and simultaneously act out our private impulses against MySpace all in one smooth movement.

via Switched On Set

Lady Gaga in Pastries

image of Poker Face cookies by fadedlines6

You don’t have to be a fan of Lady Gaga’s taste in apparel to appreciate the way she looks as a frosted gingerbread cookie — yummy — but if you’re like us and you enjoy her entertaining styles, you’ll appreciate the care, creativity and attention to detail that fans have been pouring into homemade confections bearing tribute to the Lady. First up are the gingerbreads by Matt Meyer and Devonne Ditinick, painstakingly re-creating over a dozen outfits spanning many of Gaga’s character manifestations in high-end couture.

Next are Gaga cupcakes, captured by Cupcakes Take The Cake. One set is Lady Gaga busts in cupcake form, another set is the monogram “G” cupcakes custom made for Gaga’s “Paparrazi” video. The artist uploaded her final masterpieces to DeviantArt, with commentary.

A number of Lady Gaga cakes have been baked, but this one by The LadygloomThe Ladygloom was presented to Lady Gaga and is as far-out of an interpretation of a cake as is Gaga’s own brand of fashion.

cookies via Fashionindie

When Do They Sleep? (On Twitter)

While we’re certain that if the When Do They Sleep? algorithm were to actually be applied to some of our friends, it would surely snap in two out of frustration, it’s still an amusing toy. The concept is to enter a Twitter username into the form, and SleepingTime coughs up a rough estimate of when it thinks said user is “sleeping” or is most predictably inactive on Twitter. Three sample lists give us snapshots, and “Tech Superstars” is a bit bizarre in selection if not interesting to browse and imagine that some of our friends actually ever sleep.

The North Korean Traffic Girls of Pyongyang

Pyongyang traffic signal

North Korean traffic girls, in their uniforms deigned by the Great Leader, with their unfailingly robotic movements and riveting focus, are becoming figures of cult status. Instead of traffic lights to control the stop and go flow of an intersection, women dressed in perfectly crisp and identical outfits stand alone in the middle of intersections in a small circle (or on a platform with an umbrella for shade). They are only allowed to turn counter-clockwise, directing traffic with forceful, halting movements. They have wonderful uniform variations for rain and winter. They’ve been the subject of photographic study since at least the 1970s, have the website Pyongyang Traffic Girls dedicated to them (with Traffic Girl of the Month; here’s March), a growing catalog of user submitted YouTube videos, and at least one Flickr photo pool. Are they sexy? Strangely, yes. Are they efficient? Frightfully so. Do we have our Halloween costume now? Most certainly.

via SuperPunch

photo by Bryan Hughes